The sole female wild buffalo in a conservation centre at Chhattisgarh's Sitanadi-Udanti tiger reserve died on Wednesday night, August 25.
In the year 2001, wild Asian forest buffaloes were declared as the state animal. Despite several efforts by the state government and forest department to revive the wild buffalo population, it failed to flourish. "Once, there were hundreds of wild buffaloes in the area. But from 1986 onward, records show, their numbers have steadily declined to a point where no more female buffaloes are left inside Sitanadi-Udanti, which is one of their natural habitats," said an environmental activist from the state.
On August 25, the seven-year-old that was the only female forest buffalo kept in the Udanti sanctuary of Gariaband died.A post-mortem examination is being conducted on the deceased animal to understand what led to her death. Prima facie, it seems like that the animal suffered from pulmonary issues, said Ayush Jain, deputy director of the tiger reserve.
Attack by Maoists
On August 8, a group of Maoists attacked the Udanti Tiger Reserve in Gariaband district, which is the breeding centre for these wild buffalos. It is run by the Wildlife Trust of India and the Chhattisgarh forest department. They had also set some cottages inside the enclosure on fire. The breeding centre falls under the Jugaad police station in Gariaband, which is a designated Maoist-affected district. The four caretakers at the centre fled before Maoists arrived.